Bing tracking

COVID-19: Fall 2020 plans and student resources ›

This section of the News and Media Services department site tracks stories in print and broadcast media that feature Auggie faculty, students, and staff. The area also is home to material developed for University-related programs, events, and more.

MinnPost: Cedar-Riverside’s Health Commons Expands

The Health Commons in the Riverside Plaza complex, a collaborative effort of Augsburg University’s Department of Nursing, M Fairview Health, East Africa Health Project, and People’s Center Clinics & Services, is expanding and enhancing its services. 

The expanded Health Commons includes clinical space as well as mental health and addiction services provided by a peer support specialist and care coordinator. A full-time Somali-speaking nurse will help coordinate care and refer people to community organizations. The Health Commons also will provide the resources needed for community members to have virtual visits with medical personnel. In addition, there will be indoor and outdoor spaces for health-related classes and other events once it is safe to gather again.

You can read about the Health Commons and other health care efforts in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in the October 16, 2020, MinnPost opinion piece, “Promising steps in the Cedar-Riverside community toward equitable health care.”

Augsburg University Announces Test-Free Admissions Policy

Augsburg University INSIDE OUT art wall
Augsburg University and INSIDE OUT art

(Minneapolis) – Augsburg University will shift to a Test-Free Admissions Policy as the pandemic has added more risks and restrictions to test taking. 

The policy takes effect immediately for the 2021 and fall 2022 application cycles, which is the remainder of a previous four-year pilot test-optional admissions policy.

“It’s expected to help prospective students complete their applications during the pandemic when navigating test taking and scheduling is more challenging,” said Devon Ross, director of undergraduate admissions. “The shift also supports our Strategic Enrollment Management vision to approach all we do with an anti-racist and anti-biased lens.”       

For a number of student populations, standardized test scores may not reflect an accurate indication of academic ability — including, for example, people without access to test preparation courses and tutors; those who can’t afford to retake the test; people with learning and physical differences, and English language learners.

This also aligned with Augsburg‘s holistic admissions process, which looks at quantitative metrics and beyond. The application-review process allows Augsburg to maintain the university’s academic standards and ensure the university admits students with the capacity to succeed here.

Augsburg introduced a faculty-approved test-optional admissions policy in April 2018. Submission of ACT or SAT test scores for admission became optional starting in fall 2019 for incoming undergraduate (first-year and transfer) student applicants.

Media Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications. 651-353-0061-cell

About Augsburg
Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at augsburg.edu.

Riverside Innovation Hub’s work with congregations to expand with $1 million grant

(Minneapolis) – Augsburg University has received a  $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help expand the Augsburg College Sealwork of the Riverside Innovation Hub within the university’s Christensen Center for Vocation (CCV).

The program is funded through the Lilly Endowment’s Thriving Congregations Initiative. The aim of the national initiative is to strengthen Christian congregations so they can help people deepen their relationships with God, build strong relationships with each other, and contribute to the flourishing of local communities and the world.

Lilly Endowment is making nearly $93 million in grants through the initiative. The grants will support organizations such as the Christensen Center for Vocation as they work directly with congregations and help them gain clarity about their values and missions, explore and understand better the communities in which they serve, and draw upon their theological traditions as they adapt ministries to meet changing needs.

The Christensen Center plays an integral role in stewarding the university’s commitment to, and exploration of vocation, the unique way God calls and equips us—as individuals and as communities—to work towards a better world for and with our neighbors. The Thriving Congregations Initiative grant will enable Augsburg’s CCV to expand and solidify the future of this work with congregations. We will walk with our partners through two consecutive two-year learning communities consisting of leadership teams from twelve congregations. Our hope is to develop an ecumenical network of twenty-four congregations over five years who are becoming more deeply engaged in the proclamation of Christ’s good news in transformative ways in their neighborhoods.

“The Christensen Center for Vocation is creating an innovative model for how a university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America can be a learning partner with local congregations and ministry leaders for the sake of the world,” said Paul Pribbenow, Augsburg’s president. “These partnerships will create exciting learning opportunities for our students, staff, and faculty, who wrestle with what it means to live faithfully in the church and in the world in the midst of the various challenges our communities are facing: COVID-19, growing economic inequality, climate change, and the prevalence of racist systems.” 

Augsburg University is one of 92 organizations taking part in the initiative. They represent and serve churches in a broad spectrum of Christian traditions, including Anabaptist, Baptist, Episcopal, evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist, Mennonite, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Reformed, Restoration, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox, as well as congregations that describe themselves as non-denominational. Several organizations serve congregations in Black, Hispanic and Asian-American traditions.

“In the midst of a rapidly changing world, Christian congregations are grappling with how they can best carry forward their ministries,” said Christopher Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “These grants will help congregations assess their ministries and draw on practices in their theological traditions to address new challenges and better nurture the spiritual vitality of the people they serve.”  

Lilly Endowment launched the Thriving Congregations Initiative in 2019 as part of its commitment to support efforts that enhance the vitality of Christian congregations.

Media Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications. 651-353-0061-cell

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis and home state, Indiana. The principal aim of the Endowment’s grantmaking in religion is to deepen and enrich the lives of Christians in the United States, primarily by seeking out and supporting efforts that enhance the vitality of congregations and strengthen their pastoral and lay leadership. 

About Augsburg
Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at augsburg.edu.

WCCO Report: Augsburg’s Bridget Robinson-Riegler on the Psychology of Voting

WCCO logoAugsburg Psychology Professor Bridget Robinson-Riegler was recently featured on WCCO to discuss the psychology of voting and how can we filter out false claims, conspiracies, misinformation, and lies.

“I don’t think that we do,” said Robinson-Riegler about filtering out false claims.

“So even if it’s inaccurate, there’s research that’s shown the more we hear it regardless of even if we know it’s true or not, the more likely we are to have it influence our behavior,” she said.

Watch the full report at WCCO’s website.

National Science Foundation grants $5 million to assist high-achieving STEM students

(Minneapolis) – A $5 million award from the National Science Foundation will support the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income students who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Augsburg University will receive $3,075,000 of the total award.

The collaborative project will provide scholarships as well as internships and research experiences for nearly 200 students over a five-year period starting this academic year at Augsburg, Century College, Minneapolis College, and Normandale Community College. These institutions will work together to provide seamless pathways for transfer from two-year to four-year STEM programs.

“This award offers students a powerful combination of a scholarship coupled with experience to prepare them for the workforce or further graduate study,” said Paul Pribbenow, Augsburg’s president. “As a member of the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, I know there is strong demand for students with these majors. STEM transfer students enrich our campus and bring talent and wisdom that our country needs.”

Scholarships of $7,500 to $10,000 will be awarded to students pursuing majors in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, food science, mathematics, and physics. These students will be connected to internships and research experiences through partner organizations SciTech, UpTurnships, and MnDRIVE, as well as through Augsburg’s undergraduate research programs.

This is the third phase of a program initiated by Augsburg and funded by the NSF. “Getting the NSF scholarship for my education was an amazing opportunity,” said Radhika Tandon, who will graduate from Augsburg this year with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and is currently a site reliability engineer intern at Thomson Reuters. “Because of the program, I was able to attend various conferences and make connections with many interesting people in my field.”

The overall project will be led by Augsburg principal investigator Rebekah Dupont working in collaboration with principal investigators Jessica Bell and Joann Pfeiffer of Century College, Renu Kumar of Minneapolis College, and Angela Foudray of Normandale Community College. The Augsburg team includes co-principal investigators Alex Ajayi, Ryan Haaland, Amy Larson, and Michael Wentzel. Faculty from all four institutions will work together to create structural supports through mentoring, advising, and improved transfer pathways.

In addition to assisting students who are pursuing STEM-related majors, the project includes an education research component led by Keisha Varma, associate professor of educational psychology in the College of Education and Human Development  and associate vice provost in the Office for Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. The goal of the research is to increase the academic success of students through effective mentoring.

“I see great potential to understand how mentorship can improve the outcomes of low-income, high-achieving students and create positive STEM identities,” she said. “Through shared understanding across institutions, we may be able to increase capacity among all of our faculty to be effective mentors.” 

Project evaluation will be led by Xueli Wang, professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, who brings expertise in longitudinal, mixed methods research that addresses inequities in access to transfer, particularly in STEM fields. The collaborating institutions will partner with the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) for professional development as well as access to a platform for mentor/mentee assessment across multiple sites.

This third phase of the program is funded by the NSF’s S-STEM program under award number 2030638. Grants in the prior phases (award numbers 1565060 and 1154096) funded scholarships for 111 STEM students, 100% of whom graduated and went on to pursue careers or are continuing their education in STEM fields. 

Media Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications
Office: 612.330.1476  

About Augsburg
Augsburg University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at augsburg.edu.

Media Advisory: Augsburg makes Election Day 2020 a university holiday

Augsburg University

In recognition of Augsburg University’s commitment to democratic engagement, Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, will be a holiday for Augsburg employees and students. 

President Paul Pribbenow lauds the ongoing efforts on campus to encourage voter registration and participation. “Augsburg is poised to be a leader in the national All-In Campus Democracy Challenge,” he said.

Because many people are voting early this year, Pribbenow encouraged faculty, staff, and students to use the holiday as an opportunity to assist others in the electoral process through forms of community engagement such as serving as a poll worker or transporting others to voting sites.

Augsburg administrative offices will be closed and classes will be canceled. Essential staff will be provided time off with pay during their shift to vote, if necessary, and receive an alternate day off.

2020 is a pilot year for introducing Election Day as a new holiday on Augsburg’s calendar. Leaders from the Sabo Center, student government, and Human Resources will develop a recommendation for an Election Day holiday in subsequent years.

Allen Burton Award goes to Augsburg faculty member Carol Enke

Carol receiving her awardAugsburg University faculty member Carol Enke won the 2020 Allen Burton Award. The award is given to elementary, secondary, or higher education teachers by the Minnesota Developmental Adapted Physical Education Leadership Committee to honor and recognize outstanding efforts and contributions given to students with disabilities in the area of developmental adaptive physical education.

Enke received the award in recognition of her 20 years of work and dedication to hosting Sports Extravaganza at Augsburg. Sports Extravaganza is an annual one-day event that brings children with physical, cognitive, and learning disabilities to campus to play games and compete in activities such as bowling, soccer, relay races, and dancing. It gives Augsburg students the opportunity both to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and to work with students with disabilities. Enke co-founded the event in 1999 and has directed it ever since.

Augsburg president writes about the three pandemics in the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Paul Pribbenow

The St. Paul Pioneer Press published an opinion piece by President Paul Pribbenow, “Through truth to freedom – by way of reconciliation.” In the article, he reflects on how Augsburg University’s motto, “through truth to freedom,” offers a compelling response to the coronavirus, the economic downturn, and racism. He asserts that Augsburg and other institutions of higher education can play a unique role in exploring the truths of these pandemics. As we seek the truth, he writes, “we will find—always evolving and emerging and transforming—the sins and lies that we tell each other about knowledge and privilege and justice. Only when we face the truths we find, confess our complicity in the sin and lies we tell, and humbly seek to be reconciled with each other and the creation, will we be freed for the work we are called to do.” 

Augsburg launches Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Speaker Series

Augsburg University is launching the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, dedicated to advancing Augsburg University logoeducation and support for its students and graduates in the disciplines of innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The center’s focus is on the practice and psychology of innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in relation to design thinking, lean start-up, and agile frameworks. Cory Erickson, of the business department, is leading the innovation center.

The center will launch with a 2020-21 Innovator Series, beginning with a presentation for Augsburg’s community from Jeffrey Cernohous, founder and COO of Interfacial. The September 30th presentation is the first of six for this academic year. The series will feature successful innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders from local companies and organizations.

The center will provide practical education and outcomes for Augsburg’s students and alumni through a variety of activities. These activities include cooperative projects between Augsburg student teams and local companies; support for students who are building organizations that impact social causes through innovation and entrepreneurship; support for student entrepreneurs launching their own companies and organizations; the creation of student teams drawn from the science and business departments to solve problems for new start-ups; student contests offering awards and potential funding for new ventures; the generation of research and scholarship through a think tank; and the promotion of rewarding internships for students in the for-profit, nonprofit, and government sectors.

Media Contact: Gita Sitaramiah, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications
Office: 612.330.1476  

About Augsburg
Augsburg University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees to 3,400 students of diverse backgrounds at its campus in the vibrant center of the Twin Cities and nearby Rochester, Minnesota, location. Augsburg educates students to be informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, critical thinkers, and responsible leaders. An Augsburg education is defined by excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies, guided by the faith and values of the Lutheran church, and shaped by its urban and global settings. Learn more at Augsburg.edu.

Congratulations to Auggies named to the Summer Semester Dean’s List

University SealMore than 100 Augsburg University undergraduate students were named to the 2020 Summer Semester Dean’s List. The Augsburg University Dean’s List recognizes those full-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and those part-time students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in a given term.

View the 2020 Summer Semester Dean’s List.

Students who wish to notify their hometown newspapers of their achievement can do so at their discretion using a news announcement template.